Aspiring videographer killed in 800th Chicago murder in 2021 – NBC Chicago
Around dawn on Tuesday, Sheridan Freeman was in a house in West Pullman when the gunfire occurred and the 23-year-old was shot dead, becoming the 800th homicide victim on record in Chicago this year.
Crossing this deadly mark was common in the 1990s, but has been rare since then. Murders have been increasing in the city for two consecutive years and shootings are increasing at an even faster rate, according to Sun-Times data.
Shelton was killed in a blockade where there had been a shooting the day before, in one of Chicago’s deadliest neighborhoods, although he was targeted for additional resources by City Hall.
Police have released few details of Freeman’s death. He was shot and killed around 6:30 a.m. inside a small wood-frame house in the 12000 block of South Stewart Avenue, less than a mile from his home.
Freeman had a 1-year-old son and was an aspiring videographer who often filmed his brother rapping, his mother said.
“He loved to have fun, was very smart and talented,” said Diane Archer. “He was making videos and wanted to go to film school. But time has passed.
A day before Freeman was shot, a 29-year-old man was injured in a drive-by shooting as he walked the same block at 3:15 a.m., police said.
Police did not report any arrests in either of the two shootings.
Shootings and murders increased significantly in Chicago in early 2020, increasing by 50% from the previous year. The pace has picked up this year.
Chicago recorded 784 homicides in 2020 and 552 in 2019, according to forensic pathologist data. There were 806 homicides in 2016.
At least 4,328 people have been shot dead in Chicago so far this year, according to police data, up from 4,013 in 2020 and 2,556 in 2019 during the same periods.
More than 50% of the violence occurred in 15 of Chicago’s 77 community neighborhoods.
These 15 areas were the subject of increased violence prevention spending in Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s “Our Town, Our Safety” plan, introduced in 2019. It funds street awareness, affordable housing, vocational training, health and well-being, community development.
But since violent crime began to increase here and nationally in early 2020, most areas targeted for additional spending have seen an increase in shootings and murders.
One of those targeted areas is West Pullman, which has seen one of the biggest increases in violence. Murders have jumped 450% since 2019 in West Pullman, from six murders in 2019 to 34 this year, according to a Sun-Times analysis of city data.
The West Side has some of the deadliest neighborhoods. At least 69 people have been killed in Austin this year, 43 in Lawndale. Humboldt Park, like West Pullman, recorded 34 murders.
On the south side, Greater Grand Crossing and Auburn Gresham each have 38 murders; South Shore, 37; Englewood, 32; and Roseland, 26.
Eleven Chicago community neighborhoods recorded no murders this year, most on the north or far northwest side.